Recruiting people with horticultural skills is as challenging as ever. As a result, last year Millbrook Garden Company started to look at Succession Planning in order to ensure they have the right people with the right skills in their business, not only for today but to enable them to achieve our future objectives.
Currently, as part of this plan they now have 3 people studying NVQs in Catering and are delighted that they now have two more young people who are planning their future with Millbrook.
Tom Kemp (above left) started with the company as a Weekend Assistant in 2015. With a welcoming smile and a keenness to learn, Tom soon became a valuable member of the team, initially working on the tills. He soon found himself in the plant area on busy weekends and during school holidays, helping customers to find what they were looking for. Tom left school in June and joined the team on a full-time basis as Garden Centre Assistant and in September will be starting an NVQ in Horticulture at Plumpton College.
Wills Cheeseman (above right) was one of the first weekend assistants Millbrook recruited after taking on their Staplehurst site in 2013. Although studying for A-Levels at that time, Wills was soon working for the company in the holidays too. He quickly grew in confidence and got involved in all areas of the garden centre shop. Having just graduated with a Degree in Law, Wills has decided that perhaps a career in retail is right for him. As part of his development, Wills will soon be taking on responsibility for ensuring Millbrook’s new weekend teams are inducted and quickly settle into life at Millbrook. He will be involved in many projects over the coming 12 months to develop his retail and people supervisory skills.
Tracey Bowler, HR Director at the Millbrook Garden Company, says, ‘Having seen our hospitality staff grow and develop, it’s great to see the succession plan rolling out into other areas of the business. It’s notoriously difficult to attract young people into our industry, so to be able to grow our own is fantastic.’
The programme “Growing your Potential” will be constantly evolving, with new talent joining from now on.